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Vlad's CX500 project

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by VladTepes, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. If you've seen my post on the CX forum then move along.. nothing for you to see here.

    For everyone else... as you know, my usual ride is a GSX1400

    As you may not know, but what I knew is that:

    I wanted a cafe racer style bike (my mate has a Thruxton SE).
    I wanted a V twin
    I couldn't afford a Guzzi
    In fact, I couldn't afford anything.

    Sadly (in fact, happily) I do have a credit card but that's for you know.. emergencies.

    Long story short, I ended up bidding on a bike on ebay. I put in a maximum bid. The bidding reached that.. so I put in another maximum bid which I told myself I would NOT exceed. And I didn't, but I used every cent of it.

    Ah well. It's only (someone else's) money.

    So here's what I bought...





    What do I know about it?
    It is (according to the VIN) a CX500CC (Custom)
    Compliance date is 11 / 1981

    I had a look at it before bought it, and (once the jumper leads were hooked up on the dead battery) it started from cold pretty easily with a bit of choke. It was blowing a bit of white smoke on start up and when revved but that seemed to settle down as it warmed up.

    This bike was used as a daily commuter until the previous owner got a company car, at which point in went into the shed, and had been there for 6 months until I bought it. Rego lapsed just 3 months ago (Bugger!)

    So what else....

    The dash is more or less where it should be.

    Definitely gonna need a new one of these!

    Seat is a bit ratty.

    Front tyre OK

    Back tyre NOT OK.

    Oh, and the fork seals are leaking. I'm not quite sure how badly yet.

    The Plan

    1. Get a chair, a cognac and a cigar and sit down and just admire the thing. For ages.
    2. Do the minimum required to rego it.
    3. Rego it.
    4. Ride it. I have never had a faired bike, will be novel enough.
    5. Peel of all the extraneous stuff (the fairing, panniers, top box, associated brackets etc etc.
    6. Repeat step 1 but maybe with a different drink.
    7. Start hacking into it... but with love...

    I've arranged for the bike to come home tomorrow. Can't wait !
    • Like Like x 2
  2. The CX-500 was one of Honda's stranger projects, which, after it got over its initial cam chain dramas, (prompting the following joke in the English bike press; 'Knock, knock. Who's there? CX-500!) garnered a loyal, one might say, fanatical following. I'm not sure if the overall bulbous look of the bike, even with the fairings and stuff removed, lends itself to a lean, trim cafe-racer conversion, but I sure look forward to seeing you try :LOL:
  3. Brilliant!

    I am on board for this journey (with cognac in hand).

    Be sure to carefully remove and store each part you don't want, as there will be someone out there after CX fairings, panniers and bits.
  4. Is it a bike, or a boat? :)

    Looking forward to seeing your progress. I do like the look of the (naked) CX500.

  5. Needs a name, needs a name..... hmmm

    Oh be polite. It needs a name I can tell people with a straight face.
  6. "The Impaler" works well with your name :)

    Cheers Spocky
  7. It's home !!!!!
  8. spocky if I ever have that written on my bike and something unfortunate were to happen.... not a good look !
  9. Nice project - I've wanted one myself for a while..

    Here's what it could become:


    This is an absolutely beautiful build of a CX, done cheaply too my the looks of things. One just like this is on my to-do list for sure!

    The link to that one on Bike Exif is: http://www.bikeexif.com/1978-honda-cx500
  10. Yeah the CX is a great base for a project I reckon!

    Watching with interest...
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Good to see another CX project:)
  12. I actually really like the look of CXs as Cafe Racers. BMW airheads too.
    Looking forward to seeing how you go, though I'll be equipped with a calvados.
  13. :popcorn:

    This should be interesting. I love these sorta threads. :)
  14. Jesus christ, that's ugly! Even for a CX...

    Mate, you can't make it any worse, go for your life :)
  15. Took a few before photos at night, on the premise that things look better in the dark.


    The lights look on, but that's just the reflection from the flash.

    No, still too much light happy0007

    All that dust had to be good for something....

    OK so tonight's project was to remove the panniers and topbox. Easy right, well not as it happened...

    Here's a few pics to show off the elegance of construction of the frame for panniers and topbox... you'll see what I mean.



    Yeah exactly, and it's worse than shown in the photos...

    So I went to work only to find that of the numerous fasteners holding this thing in place there are some normal bolts, cup headed bolts, screws, and even one of those things with a hex shaped hole in the head. Not only that but they were various different sizes. And I used about 1/2 a tin of RP7 to loosen them. I really gave a wide range of tools (and other persuasive devices) a work out.

    It was as much an intellectual exercise as anything.. trying to puzzle out which bolts to attack in what order. It was hard enough to undo, how they ever bolted it up like that in the first place I will never know.

    Anyway the fruits of my labour were thus - a bike that (from the rear at least) now actually LOOKS like a bike.



    and the removed "thing".

    That photo gives an inkling of the true horribleness of the bracket arrangement.

    And as if that wasn't bad enough you should see the FRONT set up! But that's tomorrows project.
  16. Theres a chance that the bolts started out all the same but over time have been replaced with whatever would get him home. :)
  17. I don't think so. It was very much a case of remove bolt A in order to get to bolt B which provides access to bolt C
  18. Righto.

    Early start today for the Dawn Service, grab a few hours sleep after then attack the Honda again.

    Today's Mission: Remove front fairing.

    Here are some examples of the just lovely bracketry made up to support the fairing.




    Horrible isn't it. Again a profusion of different fasteners, some very hard to get to. There was also some welding on the support frame (luckily not to the bike itself) which was very questionable in purpose.

    Nevertheless I attacked it with gusto - and tools - and eventually prevailed.



    Fairing panniers and topbox are available for sale or (preferably) trade to anyone that might find em useful.

    Finally resembles an actual bike again.


    Tank and seat off, time to hit it with some degreaser and detergent.


    Twice, in fact. I don't reckon it's been cleaned in 10 years ! Certainly it would be difficult to do with all those attachments in place.

    The results - a huge improvement


    and reassemble for a nice pic or two



    Gotta be happy with that !!!